Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use?
No matter what you write or how you choose to publish, the majority of authors can agree on one thing: social media has redefined the way books are promoted. However, you can’t be present on all platforms, so which platform is right for you?
I feel that the best platform for you is the one you enjoy the most. If you don’t enjoy being there, no one will follow you. It is far better for you to focus on one or two platforms that work for you then to spread yourself too thin by trying to be all things to all people.
You also should have a goal for each platform you use. If you want to increase traffic to your website, you want to use a platform that allows links back to your site like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you want to grow your popularity and raise visibility of your books then Instagram, YouTube and Goodreads would be better.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook has the largest number of users. You may have a love/hate relationship with Facebook but there is no denying its popularity. One of the best ways to promote your book online is to create a Facebook community around the theme of your book. By creating a Facebook Group for your book’s topic, you can easily bring together individuals who share a common interest. This takes more work and commitment, but Facebook Groups can be a more effective tool than your author page. Facebook’s tone is generally personal and fun.
Instagram is very popular with authors. Some bookstagrammers do beautiful display of books. It’s worth it just for that. It is important to post beautiful content on Instagram. So if you like taking photos or enjoy making graphics, IG may be fun for you. Success in Instagram comes from posting beautiful content and good use of hashtags.
Twitter is a tricky medium to master for many authors. I happen to love Twitter. Itseems fast and efficient to me. It gives you only 280 characters for each tweet, so people need to keep it brief and catchy. On Twitter it is important to follow the right people. If you hate it there, you are probably following the wrong people. Best way to use Twitter is to find your tribe there. It is important to be careful with your words. Twitter people can be unforgiving.
Depending on your target audience, LinkedIn might be the place for you. I would not necessarily advise it for fiction writers, but non-fiction authors have been finding success in this platform. Every author, no matter what you write, should have a LinkedIn profile.
Videos are only growing in popularity and YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. So if you enjoy being on video then you should jump on YouTube. By far, one of the best ways to promote a non-fiction book on YouTube involves teaching people about your subject via short, bite-sized videos.
If you are writing fiction or a memoir, Goodreads might be a platform you enjoy. It is easy to use and bookworms love it. You will have a better chance meeting other book lovers in your genre there.
New platforms to explore
TikTok is gaining in popularity daily and if you enjoy the video format it may be a fun way to create content. TikTok was a place for teenagers but now grown ups are finding it beneficial as well. There is a community called #Booktok that discuss and review novels. Nonfiction authors are finding easy ways to share their expertise.
Clubhouse is a new platform but already has 10 million users. It's gaining in popularity. It’s basically a hybrid of a conference call and a podcast. Some people love it already. You can set up rooms and launch a topic of conversation or you can join other rooms and ask questions.
Twitter has launched Spaces to compete with Clubhouse. Too early to tell.
No matter which platform you use, it is important to incorporate hashtags into your posts. Here are some popular hashtags for books and authors.
● #scifi or #science #fiction
Keep in mind that authenticity is essential when engaging with your audience on social media. Being the creative writer that you are, you can experiment with sharing interesting tidbits from your writing life. It is almost more important to be a good listener on social media. Focus on conversations and engagement not just on content. Now go out there and make new friends.